No matter what we are learning or experiencing as a family, I like to include some good books to go along with the subject or situation! Since we have been working on a goal of hiking all the trails at our local nature center, I thought it was appropriate to bring some books about hiking and famous hikers (yes, there is such a thing!) into our home. Here is a list of picture and chapter books to inspire your children to love hiking. And at the end, there are some great reference books to help you plan and learn on your hikes.
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Picture Books About Hiking
Grandma Gatewood Hikes the Appalachian Trail by Jennifer Thermes
Grandma Gatewood was an “extreme hiker” and the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail solo in one season. This picture book contains lots of details of her hikes as well as several maps of the trail.
Children who love dogs will especially like this book about hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Little Naturalists: The Adventure of John Muir by Kate Coombs
John Muir is known as the “Father of National Parks” and is an interesting guy to learn about! See below for some more detailed books about him.
The Berenstain Bears Blaze a Trail by Stan & Jan Berenstain
The Berenstain Bears are always fun to read and of course, this book about Bear Scouts is full of problems they have to solve.Henry Hikes to Fitchburg by DB Johnson
Henry, named after Henry David Thoreau, and his friend take two different journeys to Fitchburg. This is a great book to compare and contrast the journeys the characters take and discuss which journey you would like to do.
This picture book is great for young elementary students and provides a great historical context for the formation of our National Parks.
Chapter Books About Hiking
Skylar Hikes the Appalachian Trail by Gary and Brett Bond
This is a fictional story about a third grade girl who spends five days hiking on the Appalachian Trail.
Northbounders: 2,186 Miles of Friendship by Karen Lord Rutter
This is a great chapter book for children who love dogs.
John Muir: Candlewick Biographies: America’s First Environmentalist by Kathryn Lasky
This is a fun chapter book about John Muir’s life that also contains plenty of pictures. It includes not only his outdoor adventures, but several inventions that he created.
John Muir: My Life with Nature by Joseph Cornell
This book about John Muir is a little longer and aimed at middle schoolers.
Reference Books for Hiking
This book for upper elementary and middle school aged children contains just about everything you need to know to get started hiking.
This is a series of books that contains hiking trails that are appropriate for children in a variety of states. The series primarily focuses on states in the northeast and the western United States.
So, I saved the best for the last because we love, love, love this series of reference books. They are simple enough that they are easy to use to identify different items in nature without becoming overwhelmed. But at the same time, they contain lots of great information! You will want to check out all 13!
Do you have a favorite children’s hiking book that I should have included? Comment with the name below!